Online - November 2011
Senior management of banks and building societies appear unafraid of the regulator’s threats.
£54m compensation package further erodes consumer confidence in financial services.
News that millions of Brits are addicted to their smart-phones should spark some soul searching.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders explains how the decision to harmonise the IMA managed sector definitions with the ABI came about.
Picture the scene: it’s the strategy day for an investment provider and they are busily coming up with new products to flog.
Roderic Rennison looks at a few common misconceptions that can put an IFA firm’s RDR transition process in jeopardy
Tony Ward says banks will have to further deleverage their balance sheets to weather the financial storm ahead.
Government decides not to extend stamp duty holiday for FTBs.
Markets recover as Italian bond yields drop below danger point.
Centre for Economic and Business Research says individuals will minimise exposure.
Trade body says it “cannot pretend to be happy” about the FSA’s decision to ban legacy commission.
Aegon UK chief financial officer Clare Bousfield says the sale marks an “important step forward” as the provider focuses on the RDR and pensions reform.
Aegon Retirement Choices is on track for its launch in Q4 of this year.
Firm’s Q3 results shows total costs relating to redress of Scottish Equitable customers stands at £100m.
Aegon Retirement Choices has soft-launched today to a limited number of around 50 adviser firms.
Firm also to end link to final salary.
Annual results show turnover at the trade body is down 12 per cent and annual subscriptions down 14 per cent.
The rapid escalation of the sovereign debt crisis is threatening the credit rating of all European sovereign nations, warns Moody’s Investors Service.
Firm likely to cap its monthly income bond at £1bn.
The ABI has said it wants to work with the UK Government in developing infrastructure bonds as part of the National Infrastructure Plan.
AIC says new rules remove the “red tape” from the VCT sector.
Balls tells Osborne he should listen to OBR’s projections which show Govt policy is undermining recovery.
Chancellor George Osborne raises bank levy to ensure £2.5bn revenue target is reached.
Scheme will begin April and offer 50 per cent relief for investments into small firms of upto £100,000
Chancellor said previous Government had “strangled” right to buy scheme.
Forecaster says growth for 2011 will be 0.7 per cent down from previous estimate of 1.7 per cent.
Chancellor George Osborne confirms additional £40bn being made available to small businesses.
Chancellor says a financial transaction tax would damage the City and would unfairly target savers
The state pension age will now increase to 67 by 2026, 10 years earlier than the previous Labour Government had planned.
The Treasury will introduce retrospective measures to ensure employers cannot claim excessive tax-relief when making asset-backed contributions to fund DB deficits.
Ted Scott says Chancellor George Osborne will need the outlook for the eurozone to improve for his current plan to work.
The £1m investment limit on venture capital trusts will be lifted, according to the new autumn statement from the Chancellor.
New shares in the company will allow the firm to make cost reductions of £5.2m a year.
Adrian Boulding says the delay to auto-enrolment will cost £5bn in lost contributions.
This week’s autumn statement to offer a number of credit easing schemes to help small firms.
Increase driven by strong sales growth in group pensions and individual annuities.
Axa has appointed Fenchurch Advisory Services to assist in the sale of Bluefin Advisory Services.
Bank of England holds base rate at 0.5% and does not add to its quantitative easing programme.
Andrew Tyrie says Bank of England governance “antiquated”.
Private sector fears over a high impact event hitting the UK financial system are at their highest levels ever.
Barclays launched new range of 75% LTV products nine days ago.
75% LTV range includes two-year fixed at 4.39%.
Barclays urged to review underwriting process following possible Data Protection Act breaches.
Barry Horner appointed to four-year term on Financial Planning Standards Board.
Silvio Berlusconi has won the budget vote but lost his majority in the Italian parliament, posing questions on his future as leader of Italy.
Sam Peters will takeover as sole manager of the LMCM value trust and value equity stragies
Robert Jenkins slams banks for their short-termist lobbying tactics.
14,000 customers facing almost 2% increase in their SVR.
Defendants have been sentenced to a combined nine years’ imprisonment over boiler room fraud which targeted UK investors.
The investment trust underperformed its MSCI China index benchmark, as net asset value dropped 28.9 per cent.
Brooks Macdonald Asset Management has appointed former New Star fund manager Toby Thompson as investment management director.
Labour MP Tom Greatrex attacks “dead hand of the Treasury” for blocking investigation.
Annual accounts say there is “significant difficulty and uncertainty” over the value of 75 per cent of Arch cru funds.
Capital Economics says eurozone headed for recession and break up of single currency.
Training programme counts towards CPD for mortgage advisers.
CBI expects the UK to narrowly avoid recession.
Chancellor to announce investment scheme and extension to business rate holiday, according to reports.
Simon Somerville will take over responsibility for the £256m Jupiter global managed fund.
New qualifications available from next year include the certificate in paraplanning and the certificate in discretionary investment management.
Notes backed by prime UK residential mortgages.
The CML says it may lower its repossession forecast for 2011, after the latest figures show a 4% fall in repossessions year-on-year.
Labour warns MIS must help buyers and not artificially raise house prices or hit bank stability.
Cofunds has filed papers with the High Court as the platform looks to address an “accounting legacy” which prevents the payment of dividends.
News follows reports that L&G was bidding to acquire the fund supermarket.
Acquisition takes branch network to 487 offices.
Research from the IFP finds almost half of consumers do not believe they have saved enough for a comfortable retirement.
Bid likely to be submitted next week.
KPMG Luxemburg has effectively adjourned the meeting as loan deal to take Lifemark out of administration may be resurrected.
External monetary policy committee member suggests policymakers look at ways of addressing this “distortion”.
Former Suffolk Life marketing director John Moret has joined Sipp provider Dentons as a non-executive director.
The Institute of Directors has urged the Government to push back the reforms until 2014 due to concerns over opt-outs and costs to employers.
Distribution Technology has added a segmentation tool to its Dynamic Planner service.
An official announcement outlining Government plas to delay automatic enrolment for small businesses is expected at 2.30pm today.
EC wants to make them more transparent, accountable and competitive.
The eurozone debt crisis is on the brink of spreading to the bloc’s core members, according to Schroders.
Petition has 235 signatures but needs 100,000 to be considered for Parliamentary debate.
A break-up of the eurozone would ultimately help the UK after the short-term pain of the event, according to a business thinktank.
Fidelity fund manager Anthony Bolton says further political integration or a break-up of the euro is “still a few years away”.
The European Central Bank has cut interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.25%.
European economic growth has “stalled” and the region is at real risk of suffering another recession, according to the latest official forecast.
The European Commission says total ban on commission can be implemented.
Markets fall following yesterday’s gains.
European markets bounce back after yesterday’s falls.
Former Cofunds chief executive Andy Creak has returned with a new consumer-facing platform called rplan
Nigel Legge, former chief executive of Liontrust, has launched his first fund with his new asset management company, Vinculum.
Adrian Boulding brands the move a “huge mistake”.
Hudson has bought Oakleaf Independent Financial Services and plans to grow by acquiring small firms and sole traders.
As a result firm made £442,000 loss for year.
The Federation of Small Businesses plans to launch a low-cost pension scheme which will be made available to its 200,000 employer members.
The chairman of Fidelity special values has described a “difficult and disappointing year” for the investment trust managed by Sanjeev Shah.
Ratings agency upgrades Oakwood for both prime and sub-prime servicing.
Arrests relate to land banking through an unauthorised collective investment scheme.
Cox managed the Schroder UK enterprise fund in the 1990s.
Ombudsman Tony Boorman says in provisional decision that Arch cru recommendation was unsuitable and has ordered redress to be paid.
Provider to launch of Friends Life Investments, run by Mark Versey.
Friends Life is to outsource the IT and customer service functions of its heritage business to Diligenta.
Regulator says “there are no black and white answers” over what will happen to rogue advisers whose SPSs are withdrawn.
Regulators highlight risks associated with payment protection products such as minimum sales volumes and “inappropriate staff incentives”.
Sir Nicholas Montagu is currently chairman of the Aviva UK Life with-profits committee.
Key Mortgage Associates director John Folan submitted at least 54 fraudulent insurance applications.
Regulator has fined and banned a hedge fund compliance officer for failing to act on investors’ concerns.
Adair Turner and Martin Wheatley raise concerns over confidence and competition roles.
The FSA has proposed a flexible approach to facilitating adviser charges.
Tom Kelly is leaving the regulator and will be replaced by DWP acting director of communications Zitah McMillan.
Regulator says there is scope for FSA to go further than rules prescribed under Mifid II.
FSA consulting on granting ICAEW and PMI accredited body status.
Widespread industry concern over the proposals has forced the FSA to reconsult.
Regulator has published guidance for structured product providers.
Coutts sold the fund to 427 high net worth customers, with investments totaling £1.45bn.
McInroy & Wood failed to obtain trust letters for offshore client accounts with an average balance of £666,000.
Fine is largest ever imposed on an individual for market abuse.
FSA fines and bans Julian Harris from acting as a compliance officer.
Owner and director of Fastmoney has also been banned and fined £17,500 following TCF failings.
Draft guidance explains various scenarios when commission can and cannot be paid.
Regulator says it does not intend to remove or relax ban on legacy commission.
Regulator says it does not accept that providers will not be able to turn off commission on legacy products.
Regulator says advisers are looking to distract from their own responsibility over Arch cru by demanding others pay more.
FSA to fine Coutts & Co £6m for misselling AIG products.
The FSA confirms advisers will have to provide more data relating to adviser charging models and complaints.
Regulator says products are high risk and toxic and should not be promoted to majority of UK retail investors.
The FSA says it will review the distribution of structured products in 2012.
Product providers should restrict the distribution of structured products if needed, according to an FSA guidance report.
Regulator issues warning shot over misuse of bridging and buy-to-let.
Regulator has concerns over European proposals to enforce whole of market advice.
FSA also mulling meeting of all relevant parties to address concerns.
Total UK market in traded life policy investments is worth around £1bn, half of which is held in TPLIs that are already in difficulty.
Regulating the buy-to-let market alongside the residential mortgage market would be beneficial, the FSA has claimed.
Chairman warns of the deflationary dangers of having to deleverage public and private debt at the same time.
The FSCS has begun refunding firms successful in requesting interim levy reductions.
Greek prime minister George Papandreou has secured backing from his cabinet for a referendum on the next bail-out package.
Markets fall following Greece referendum announcement.
Markets down despite early confidence.
GAM has launched a Dublin-based Oeic that invests globally in catastrophe bonds, a specialist area of the fixed income market.
The eurozone’s two largest economies, Germany and France, have both recorded GDP growth for the third quarter of 2011.
German chancellor Angela Merkel puts pressure on UK to support a Europe only financial transaction tax.
Seven lenders and 25 house builders agree in principle to participate.
Ministers stop short of full merger of of NICs and income tax but call for evidence highlights “clear appetite” greater integration and simplification.
Business secretary Vince Cable says he has yet to seen evidence to support the policy.
The Government will today outline public sector pension reform concessions as ministers attempt to avert strike action, according to reports.
Business Secretary Vince Cable is to set out an overhaul of employment tribunals today.
FPC member Robert Jenkins calls for Independent Commission on Banking proposals to be implemented within 2 years.
£400m fund to kick start the housing market.
New offer to trade unions will increase member accruals and provide transitional protection for people who are within 10 years of retirement.
Chancellor George Osborne has written to banks saying there is a lack of international consensus on the tax.
The Greek government has scrapped plans to hold a referendum of any type, according to reports.
FSA chief apologises for its pre-emptive rejection of the Treasury select committee’s report into the RDR.
Henderson Global Investors has reported outflows across its range during the third quarter as AUMs shrank by £9 billion.
Henderson’s socially responsible investment team of six are set to leave.
Firm is reviewing staff roles following its acquisition of Gartmore.
The High Court has ruled the Government’s decision to switch the measure of future increases for public sector pension schemes from RPI to CPI was lawful.
Lifetime and two-year discounts cut to 4.64% and 4.19% respectively.
The Government has relaxed pensions tax rules for using ‘carry forward’.
Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban says use of NR capital base to fund sale does not amount to asset stripping.
Prices fell 0.9% between September and October, according to the Land Registry.
Average house price is now £163,311.
Surveyors say new enquiries and completed sales rose in October.
Darby replaced by Dan Saulter.
Financial planning firm Target Financial Management to enter administration as a result of £6m of claims relating to Keydata.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies says it is “running out of superlatives” to describe unprecedented scale of cuts.
Management of the Ignis Asset Management multi-manager range has passed to Michael Timmerman.
New names set out for active, balanced and cautious sectors.
The IMA is to establish a global equity income sector from January 1, 2012.
IMA chief executive Richard Saunders warns that EU regulation on the back of the financial crisis may hit the region’s economy.
The head of the IMF Christine Lagarde has warned that the global economy may be facing a “lost decade”.
The IMF has announced new measures to help countries protect themselves from the eurozone debt crisis.
The International Monetary Fund has warned China about a “steady build-up” of vulnerabilities in its financial sector.
John Heron re-elected chairman while Tony Ward remains as deputy chairman.
Simon Laing has been appointed as head of US equity fund management at Invesco Perpetual.
Pool backed by residential mortgages from Kensington since November 2009.
UK investors in ARM Asset Backed Securities cannot complain to the FOS but can claim against their IFA.
Trail commission reclaim service claims Barclays Wealth should have provided ongoing advice to receive trail commission.
Money Marketing is asking readers to help create a service monitor to offer advisers on ongoing benchmark of provider service standards.
The £166.9m JP Morgan Europe fund has been removed from the fund rating service of OBSR.
Securitisation launched earlier this month.
Provider says it remains committed to supporting IFAs as it looks to grow its D2C business ahead of the retail distribution review.
Savings investment new business up 14 per cent as provider benefits from partnerships with banks and building societies.
Provider launches bid to acquire Cofunds, according to reports, as it seeks to bolster distribution.
Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban says no credible plan for remutualisation was put forward.
Labour MPs Pat McFadden and Teresa Pearce have replaced Tom Blenkinsop and John Cryer on Treasury select committee.
As reports suggest auto-enrolment could be delayed for small firms, Labour warns lack of saving means there should be no slippage.
LEBC will join IFA network Tenet in 2012 after turning down a £21m takeover offer from UK Wealth Management.
Lifemark $150m loan facility has been withdrawn one week before bondholders were due to vote on the loan.
Earlier this week, FSA warned products were high risk, toxic products.
David Roberts will assume interim chief exec if Horta-Osorio’s return is delayed.
Outgoing finance director Tim Tookey takes on the role of acting chief executive.
Bank is also continuing to work on an IPO as a potential alternative to direct sale.
Antonio Horta-Osorio stepped back last week due to stress but is expected back before Christmas.
Lloyds wants to cut down RSA finance chief George Culmer’s 12-month notice period.
Group increases mortgage lending.
Firm hires Sham Yapa as business development manager.
Provider’s new investment-linked annuity product allows investors to lock-in investment growth.
Mike Riddell says France may lose its AAA rating.
FTSE falls almost 1 per cent.
Markets across Europe have fallen in early trades as fears grow about political uncertainty in Italy.
Markets across Europe have fallen this morning as concerns around Italy continue to grow.
FTSE is up over 3 per cent
Markets jump on hope of £500bn IMF bailout for Italy.
Markets regain most of their losses in early trades.
MetLife UK chief administration officer John Cacchioli has died at the age of 53.
Lender launched in July 2010.
Stockbroker MF Global broke rules requiring it to safeguarding client’s money, the firm’s regulator has claimed.
Aegon UK has appointed ex-Alico UK CEO Mike Kirsch as Origen interim managing director.
The sovereign debt crisis will be solved by witholding funds from Greece and ejecting them from the euro, says Kames Capital fund manager Phillip Milburn.
Money Marketing reporter Tom Selby has been named life and protection journalist of the year.
The MAS forced to reveal website spend by Labour peer Baroness McDonagh.
The IMA has announced it is creating two money market sectors based upon the ESMA definitions.
New mobile site offers you access to the best industry news, analysis and opinion on your smart phone.
Money Marketing scooped the best trade/professional title award for the second year running at this year’s Santander Media Awards.
Moneygate says move frees up Dennis Reed to focus on acquisitions, bolstering future expansion plans.
Provider to distribute through Key Retirement Solutions initially.
Standard Life is cutting 95 jobs from its UK customer service department.
Openwork estimates banks only selling enough to justify one adviser between three branches.
AMI says UK trade bodies are leading discussions on EC’s mortgage directive.
The post-FSA mortgage market is going to be more complex under the twin peaks of the PRA and the FCA, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Policymakers are divided on whether there may be a need for more QE in the future.
Partnership’s Chris Horlick tells MPs councils should refer self funders asking about care costs to IFAs
Lending up from £16.6bn in first 10 months of 2010, compared to £19.1bn in 2011.
Nationwide’s Matthew Wyles says criteria and deposit holding back FTBs.
Lender launching two-year fix at 5.79% and five-year fix at 6.35%.
The NIESR claims growth will be less than OBR revisions and the Adam Smith Institute hits out at indexation changes
Novia appoints Chris Blakeley as head of risk and compliance.
Morten Nilsson says the cost of administering deferred pension scheme members can be lower than active members.
OBR chairman Robert Chote answers questions at today’s press conference.
Gross lending £13.1bn in October compared to £11.6bn the year before.
Pension providers urge Chancellor George Osborne to review capped drawdown calculations ahead of his autumn statement next week.
Chancellor says the majority of the Independent Commission on Banking’s proposals will be implemented through fresh legislation.
Paradigm is preparing to launch a bid for Honister Capital, Money Marketing understands.
Bid does not include direct-to-consumer business.
Profits up from £71.8m the previous year.
Pricing expected to be 275 basis points over three-month Libor.
Insurance giant Phoenix Group is trying to offload a big chunk of its defined-benefit pension liabilities with two controversial de-risking exercises.
Last minute Labour attempt to derail accelerated increase in the state pension age defeated in the House of Lords.
Pensions minister Steve Webb says proposals to cut next year’s PPF levy represent a “significant step” towards ensuring defined-benefit schemes are sustainable.
Duncan Parkes wins chartered financial planner of the year.
Phoenix Fund Services has appointed Tony Reed as managing director.
Sipp provider is no longer for sale after deciding it is in shareholders best interests to remain an independent company.
Feature means only customer and lender can see credit search on records.
Prudential has enhanced its risk-managed fund range with the launch of four funds.
Premium Saver allows policyholders to build up a fund over five years to reduce their premiums for the next two years.
Costs are forecast to rise by to £2.8bn a year due to higher than expected inflation and more public sector workers retiring early.
Rathbone Brothers has announced a 15.5 per cent year-on-year rise in net operating income for the first nine months of the year to £108.7m.
Royal Bank of Scotland has reported pre-tax profits of £2bn in the three months to September 30.
Shareholder activist Pirc calls for investors to oppose the pay deals for directors.
The Government is set to delay the introduction of auto-enrolment for small firms by one year.
Phoenix Group is still in talks with private equity firm CVC Capital.
Company has already returned £250m to shareholders earlier this year through a share buyback scheme.
Northern Rock has been sold to Virgin Money in a deal worth £747m.
Royal London’s life and pensions sales have increased 12 per cent from £2.3bn in the first nine months of 2010 to £2.5bn on September 30, 2011.
S&P issues warning about the continued growth of Richard Woolnough £5.5bn optimal income fund.
Standard & Poor’s cuts AAA rating because of poor performance over the last five years.
Standard & Poor’s mistakenly sent message to some subscribers saying it had downgraded French debt from AAA rating.
Barclays and HSBC have had their long-term credit ratings downgraded following changes to the rating agency’s criteria.
Arrears levels could increase by more than a fifth even if the economy slowly recovers and interest rates rise gradually.
Hall replaces Andy Golding.
Schroders has announced pre-tax profits of £101.6m for the third quarter of 2011.
Schroders is to launch an onshore version of its Luxembourg-domiciled fund next month.
Scottish Friendly handles the back office administration for Nucleus and the Aviva Wrap.
Cameron and Merkel fail to agree over European transaction tax.
Sesame Bankhall has teamed up with Henderson Global Investors to launch a new investment arm for its clients.
Sesame Bankhall Group has become the first customer of the UK arm of Australian software firm Iress.
Higginson promoted from chief operating officer to chief executive.
Trade body set up committee to look at expanding membership in June.
SimplyBiz will have access to PruFunds range and Dynamic Portfolios as part of the deal.
SimplyBiz is offering firms the chance to transfer clients to its non-advisory business or to other IFA firms.
Funds under management shrink by 8 per cent to £26.7bn due to market falls.
Skandia UK chief executive Peter Mann says cost benefit analysis supporting the ban is “fundamentally flawed”.
Skandia Investment Group has announced it will relocate all UK staff to London from Southampton.
FSA plans to expand list of assets that can back unit-linked and indexed-linked polices.
Standard Life plans to cut 106 jobs and create 37 new roles following a review of the provider’s group IT and operations division.
Provider’s interim management statement shows 6 per cent increase in gross retail fee business inflows to £5.2bn in first nine months of 2011.
Paul Matthews says clients should be told where restricted advice panels have been built on commercial arrangements.
Pensions minister Steve Webb says consultation will look at the different models that could be used to consolidate smaller pension pots.
There is a strong case for further quantitative easing, says a member of the Monetary Policy Committee.
The FSA’s new guidance on structured products introduces new one-off and ongoing costs for providers.
Reform chief economist Patrick Nolan says more to interest rate rises than increased Govt spending.
Centre Forum calls for lump sums over £42,475 to be taxed at relevant income tax rate.
Threadneedle has appointed former LVAM head of product development Julian Thomas as director of product development.
TSC says ex-MP Michael Jack and CIOT’s John Whiting have independence and competency for OTS roles.
TSC says veto over hiring and firing of Bank’s governor is vital for post’s credibility and independence.
Formal response to MPs’ RDR report says 91% of advisers expected to meet QCF level 4 deadline.
The FSA has taken action against two individuals suspected of providing financial advice when not authorised to do so.
TSC chair has written to George Osborne asking for clarity on overall impact of financial transaction tax on the UK.
UBS Global Asset Management head of UK retail Graham Kane has retired after 10 years with the company.
Research firm says there is a 50% chance that the UK economy will return to recession before 2013
UK inflation falls to 5% in October.
The UK has become the global leader in the financial repression of government debt yields, according to Swiss & Global’s Enzo Puntillo.
The number of unemployed people has risen by 129,000 in the three months to September.
Members of public sector union Unison have voted in favour of strikes over the Government’s public service pension reform proposals.
The MAS told staff yesterday of organisational changes following an internal review.
Vanguard has hired a new head of retail sales from Standard Life to boost the distribution team.
Deal will see in excess of £600m in assets move onto the platform.
Which? has slammed bank and building society advisers after 32 out of 37 gave poor investment advice to its mystery shoppers.